Creamline Cool Smashers used its expertise to overcome previously undefeated Choco Mucho Flying Titans in the Premier Volleyball League Open Conference on Wednesday night, August 4 at the PVC Socio-Civic and Cultural Center in Bacarra, Ilocos Norte, 18-25, 25-9, 21-25, 25-18, 15-6.
The Cool Smashers, anchored by ace spiker Alyssa Valdez, retained their composure in the face of a 1-2 set hole and went on to win against the Flying Titans in the deciding fifth set.
Valdez led a balanced assault with 22 points, 18 attacks, three aces, and a block as the defending conference champion Creamline cruised to a second straight win and claimed the top place.
Michele Gumabao had 19 points on 17 kills, Tots Carlos had 16 points, Jeanette Panaga had 13 points on six blocks, and Risa Sato had 12 points.
Jia Morado had 37 great sets, four more than Dina Wong, her protege.
“One thing that our coaches keep on reminding us is to really just play, let it all out inside the court,” Valdez said.
“We really just have to play for each other and all throughout the game may mga struggles and may mga lapses pa rin but I think all the shouting and yung pagchi-cheer ng lahat nakita niyo naman it really helped the team,” she added.
The Cool Smashers rallied from a 10-14 deficit in the fourth set with a 15-4 surge led by Sato, Gumabao, and Carlos to force a deciding fifth set.
In the final set, the Cool Smashers began to pull away with a 6-1 run completed by Carlos’ crosscourt smash for an 8-3 advantage.
After an ace by Rosemarie Vargas, the Flying Titans got closer with a rejection from Alyssa Valdez, but the Cool Smashers stepped up their game to create a 12-5 lead.
From there, it was all Creamline as Morado completed the comeback victory with a service ace.
For the first time this conference, Coach Tai Bundit took over as head coach after finishing his quarantine.
Choco Mucho took its first setback after six wins, with Tolentino scoring 16 points and Maddie Madayag and Ponggay Gaston scoring 12 and 11 points, respectively.
The Flying Titans of Coach Oliver Almadro are tied for second place with the Chery Tiggo Crossovers, who won the first game. On Saturday, the two will face off in the final elimination round match.
Creamline moved back to the top of the standings with a 7-1 win-loss record, with Choco Mucho followed them with a 6-1 record.